Litter and dead wood dynamics in ponderosa pine forests along a 160-year chronosequence
Hall, S A, Burke, I C, and Hobbs, N T
Hall, S. A. ; Nature Conservancy, N Cent Washington Field Off, 6 Yakima St,Suite 1A, Wenatchee, WA 98801 USA
16 (6) : 2344-2355 DEC 2006
Disturbances such as fire play a key role in controlling ecosystem structure. In fire-prone forests, organic detritus comprises a large pool of carbon and can control the frequency and intensity of fire. The ponderosa pine forests of the Colorado Front Range, USA, where fire has been suppressed for a century, provide an ideal system for studying the long-term dynamics of detrital pools. Our objectives were (1) to quantify the long-term temporal dynamics of detrital pools; and (2) to determine to what extent present stand structure, topography, and soils constrain these dynamics. We collected data on downed dead wood, litter, duff (partially decomposed litter on the forest floor), stand structure, topographic position, and soils for 31 sites along a 160-year chronosequence. We developed a compartment model and parameterized it to describe the temporal trends in the detrital pools. We then developed four sets of statistical models, quantifying the hypothesized relationship between pool size and (1) stand structure, (2) topography, (3) soils variables, and (4) time since fire. We contrasted how much support each hypothesis had in the data using Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC).Time since fire explained 39-80% of the variability in dead wood of different size classes. Pool size increased to a peak as material killed by the fire fell, then decomposed rapidly to a minimum (61-85 years after fire for the different pools). It then increased, presumably as new detritus was produced by the regenerating stand. Litter was most strongly related to canopy cover (r(2) = 77%), suggesting that litter fall, rather than decomposition, controls its dynamics. The temporal dynamics of duff were the hardest to predict. Detrital pool sizes were more strongly related to time since fire than to environmental variables. Woody debris peak-to-minimum time was 46-67 years, overlapping the range of historical fire return intervals (I to > 100 years). Fires may therefore have burned under a wide range of fuel conditions, supporting the hypothesis that this region's fire regime was mixed severity.
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Posted by: Buffie Clemo | May 26, 2007 3:57:27 PM
Posted by: Tuuli Pirk | Feb 15, 2008 6:27:46 AM
Posted by: amanda | Mar 7, 2009 4:39:45 PM
this is a great idea
Posted by: adam steele | Mar 10, 2009 1:33:18 PM
Posted by: Katy | Mar 10, 2009 4:50:19 PM
Posted by: marsha | Mar 11, 2009 9:57:15 AM
"Has anybody seen in the Stimulus package of
'waste',any considerations for reforestation?
Posted by: Spockum | Mar 11, 2009 9:17:33 PM
thanks for the info
Posted by: LuKaye | Mar 15, 2009 11:37:04 PM
THAT WAS SO COOL INFORMATION
Posted by: TIEA | Apr 15, 2009 10:19:39 AM
THAT WAS SOME COOL INFORMATION
Posted by: TIEA | Apr 15, 2009 10:20:10 AM
that sure is uplifting and informative.so often the natural burn effect is overlooked in forest conservation
Posted by: bryan | May 10, 2009 7:36:27 PM
this is so sad :(
Posted by: TRP | Jun 13, 2009 6:33:59 PM
It's sad to know that even when no person is affected directly we all are in the long run..
Posted by: Alicia Weaes | Jun 18, 2009 9:39:32 PM
Everyone should know this, it effects everything.
Posted by: a.pete | Nov 30, 2009 3:40:57 AM
it is unfortunate to have the return of growth 60-81 years later. We should learn the elements that stand between these issues to create an under lining layer between the items to create a cooling of h2o to protect it from fire. This may be far fetched right now but it is the begining of something to start fresh ideas.
Posted by: regan | Dec 4, 2009 9:08:52 AM
I believe that when there are naturally accuring forest fires, that they are what is needed for the forest. We should not do unnatural damage, we should just study from what nature provides us.
Posted by: Samantha | Dec 4, 2009 4:07:40 PM
I thought it was very good info. But very sad at the same time.
Posted by: Rita | Dec 6, 2009 10:49:36 AM
Posted by: Gene | Dec 6, 2009 1:54:52 PM
This was very informative.
Posted by: Ashley | Jan 5, 2010 7:37:32 AM
Posted by: chevon | Mar 1, 2010 3:49:12 AM
what is it with all these raging forrest fires lately?,years ago you never heard of so much destruction can mankind possibly be so far off the mark as to not care about gods gift of nature ?
Posted by: miss t | Mar 2, 2010 5:07:20 PM
Good info: though it would be nice to have more source links.
Posted by: Stuart Grant | Mar 21, 2010 3:32:44 PM
That was interesting
Posted by: chow | Aug 9, 2010 2:24:49 AM
Is it true that reforistation happens because of the fire, the wax on pinecones is activated causing new growth?
Posted by: Raymon Berry | Aug 28, 2010 12:13:41 AM
Nature willl take care of its own.
Posted by: Jacki | Aug 28, 2010 5:23:53 AM
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